New Times (L.A.)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 639 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Down from the Mountain
Lowest review score: 0 The New Guy
Score distribution:
639 movie reviews
  1. It's the most uplifting movie of a numbing year -- a feel-good film full of songs about feeling god-awful.
  2. This movie would be worth feting in any season. It's wrenching but never manipulative, stoic but never dull, exhausting but never wearying.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  3. Tanovic describes it as "a very serious film with a sense of humor." It is an apt description for a very remarkable film, one of the best of the year.
  4. Maniacally funny. It remains neck and neck with "Young Frankenstein" as Brooks' best film.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The audience responds to Out of Sight the way Jack and Karen do to each other. Instantly we like the way it looks, moves, and sounds. Ultimately we like how it makes us feel.
  5. Not to be missed.
  6. Perfectly capturing the zeitgeist of American high school life in the '80s, complete with a Rubik's cube reference, the funny and occasionally harsh Fast Times, with all due apologies to John Hughes and Mickey Rooney, may be the greatest teen movie ever made (even though Cates was the only real teen).
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A small-scale, slight undertaking, but its pleasures are unexpectedly rich. It has become a habit in our movies to portray the exploits of high school characters as shocking and depraved. Ten Things allows its teenagers their innocence and a quality that is even rarer these days, something like nobility.
  7. What we have here is an historical document of inestimable value, describing in no uncertain terms the terrible and beautiful times before AIDS.
  8. As giddy and antic as any great Warner Bros. cartoon of the 1930s and '40s -- it bears seeing more than once, if only to allow for the sight gags that play second fiddle to the plot, a rarity in animation -- but also resonant and real. In other words, it's the perfect movie.
  9. Doesn't just kick your ass. It pummels your entire body; it leaves you trembling.
  10. For all its long shadows and ominous atmosphere, this is a very funny movie -- as funny as the Coens' masterful "Fargo."
  11. Coppola and Murch have balanced their new edit with grace notes of sweetness, elegance and eroticism, and the payoff is grand, providing both a reprieve from the multiple blitzkriegs and a break in the monotony of the cruise up the Nung.
  12. One of the finest qualities of Amadeus is that it reminds us of those rare occasions when an Oscar sweep is actually merited.
  13. Probably like nothing you've ever seen before. In a cool world, it would be guaranteed not only the Best Animated Feature Oscar, but Best Picture as well.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  14. Weaving many interconnected plot lines and more than a dozen lives together, this gifted writer-director has fashioned a bleak, brilliant comedy about loneliness, lovelessness, and alienation--a film that constantly upends our assumptions about what is heartbreaking, what is hilarious, and what is both.
  15. Like gathering storm clouds, Donnie Darko creates an atmosphere of eerie calm and mounting menace -- stands as one of the most exceptional movies of 2001.
  16. Not to be missed. And pay close attention to the finale. It's a genuine surprise.
  17. Awesome! Bravura! Captivating! Dazzling!
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Infectious, intoxicating joy is the emotion conveyed in every frame of this ravishing, exuberant documentary.
  18. Released in 1962, it was pretty clearly the most intelligent spectacular within living memory. On its 40th anniversary, it's even better.
  19. Despite its two-and-a-half hour running time, the movie flies by, so absorbing are its story, songs and stars.
  20. It's everything most movies this year have not been: deeply felt, genuine, gracious.
  21. Does a masterful job of combining digital imagery and voice performance to create totally believable animal characters.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  22. Director Oliver Parker (An Ideal Husband) -- who also adapted the screenplay to include aspects from Wilde's unrevised four-act version of the play -- embraces the material with great gusto, delivering as charming and irresistible a film as one could demand.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  23. A grand, old-fashioned epic, this project is every bit as important as "Gladiator" or a new "Star Wars" episode.
  24. Horror fans and those who just plain enjoy a well-told story should thank the cinematic gods. Session 9 is not only the scariest movie of the year, but also perhaps the most easy to believe since the first "Blair Witch."
  25. No B-movie fan, save perhaps the extremely obsessive for whom this is old hat, should miss it.
  26. It's funny, heroic, exaggerated and, most of all, energetic; the film speeds along as though afraid to lose the audience's attention for even a moment.
  27. Full of provocative concepts, but, like most films that attack such metaphysical concerns head-on, things have become a tad too jumbled by the end to be altogether satisfying. It's a problem built into the subject matter...This all said, Dark City is immensely entertaining, as well as visually dazzling.
  28. That's all Full Frontal is: a brilliant gag at the expense of those who paid for it and those who pay to see it.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  29. An inspiring effort, lavishly lensed and featuring a spicy (if occasionally synthy) score from A.R. Rahman. Best of all, it's also something of a musical, as the characters are not above breaking into song and dance to serve their emotions.
  30. The film succeeds as massive, astonishing entertainment; verily, enthralling us is its chief goal.
  31. Brilliant new documentary.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  32. Some of the finest ensemble acting this year.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  33. The film's biggest strength is the same characteristic that may cause people to underrate it: that the group of friends we watch onscreen feel not like England's greatest actors showing off, but rather a group of friends who have indeed known each other for years through life's little triumphs and large tragedies.
  34. Despite a little rough stuff here and there, this is one of the more insightful and affecting teen-trauma films of recent years.
  35. This film made Dietrich a star, and it's easy to see why: Slightly more voluptuous than in her later films, Dietrich is the embodiment of the pleasures of the flesh.
  36. An exciting, sharply realized melodramatic film noir, based on Elizabeth Sanxay Holding's novel "The Blank Wall."
  37. Sometimes the cinema is just heavenly, and this is one of those times.
  38. A genuinely affecting movie that approaches its adult themes with intelligence, maturity, and rare authenticity.
  39. Hallström has leavened the story's bleakness with great warmth, fashioning one of the finest films of the year.
  40. Though not as visually impressive as comparable Terry Gilliam fare such as Jabberwocky, the verbal wit is fast and abundant (abetted with cameos by Billy Crystal, Peter Cook and Mel Smith), and you'd better believe the midnight movie crowd will remember almost all of it.
  41. For better or worse, the filmmaker says nothing directly political about the cruel fate suffered by her people, but the dark poetry of her allusions is powerful.
  42. Altman's technique also allows his huge cast to act up a storm, in the best sense. Gosford Park has roughly half the best actors in England in it.
  43. While Imamura films generally have their droll moments, this is the most blatantly comic work he's done since the '80s -- richly entertaining and suggestive of any number of metaphorical readings.
  44. The effects are smashing, yet there's a heart behind them.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  45. Wise and surprisingly witty, the film is a minor masterpiece and could serve as a fitting companion piece to America's "In the Bedroom," another superb film about the torments of bereavement.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  46. A beautiful and timeless achievement, Conrad Rooks' 1972 adaptation of Herman Hesse's appropriation of East Indian mythology still entrances.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  47. This thing moves brilliantly, sparkling like nothing we've seen domestically since "The Wiz" or "Xanadu."
  48. One of the compulsively watchable films this year, second only to "Memento." It's a must-see, except for those with a sensitivity to on-screen mayhem.
  49. The confusing, demanding role finally brings the actor home, and us with him.
  50. A thoughtful, well-acted and well-observed (though bleak) look at what some people have to put up with to get through life.
  51. This sensuous, exotic film is more like an issue of "National Geographic" come to life, rich with cultural detail and insight.
  52. A thrilling tale smartly told, with an abundance of wit and invention. It's a classic.
  53. Not just another lawyer movie, but rather one of the most striking dramas of the year.
  54. By the time Sprecher's skeins, set forth in 13 related episodes, come together, we've got as clear a view of the big picture as we got assembling the elements of "Nashville," "Lantana" or "Magnolia".
    • New Times (L.A.)
  55. Beautifully made, deeply upsetting drama.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  56. Beautifully observed, miraculously unsentimental comedy-drama.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  57. The film is a whirlwind blur, a kinetic thrill ride through the industrial backwater that was one of punk and post-punk's most fertile Promised Lands: Manchester.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  58. An authentic and thrilling glimpse into Inuit culture and tradition.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  59. De Sica's 1952 neorealist masterpiece; it's a stark snapshot in which all is revealed about the "daily life of mankind," as the director once offered by way of description.
  60. Spectacular entertainment.
  61. It's moving; but it's also endlessly engaging, uproariously funny at moments, informative, and eventually touching in ways one might not have expected.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  62. Robin Williams just may have found the greatest role of his career. Playing beautifully both to fans and haters, Williams' Sy is a character you don't know whether to hug or go vigilante on his ass, a balance Bob Hoskins couldn't quite capture in "Felicia's Journey."
    • New Times (L.A.)
  63. While this road may contain too many potholes -- and plotholes -- to sustain an even ride, there are moments of greatness scattered throughout to remind us why Lynch is vital and why the French think he's so nifty.
  64. Easily one of the finest and most sophisticated films of the year.
  65. A film of tremendous complexity and depth, a galvanic force that sends the mind reeling.
  66. But in a calculated move that pays off handsomely, the picture's remarkable power is reserved for the end, when the intertwining themes coalesce in an extraordinarily satisfying and stirring way.
  67. Charged by Rideau's amazingly sexy performance as the most forthright gay character put on screen to date, this is a fine piece of filmmaking.
  68. The miracle here is not so much that Pray captures the DJs in peak form, but that he comprehensively captures SO MANY of them.
  69. Beautiful to watch and universal in theme by any name.
  70. The cast is uniformly excellent; all involved seem keyed into the subtextual subtleties of a story that, while simple on the surface, is exceedingly rich underneath.
  71. Lawrence constructs a vivid pastiche of human foibles, nicely flavored with a touch of suspense and some well-timed jolts of humor. In the end it's a terrifically entertaining film, if not quite so profound as the makers might wish.
  72. The pacing is slow, but the film is entrancing and earns a permanent place in the viewer's mind.
  73. These pandas, they're truly wondrous on the big screen, as no digital effect could ever recreate. Director Robert M. Young delivers a spry, richly detailed adventure for general audiences, truly a feat deserving acclaim.
  74. Once the action kicks in -- starting with an extraordinary balletic fight in the rain featuring the two masters and a flying wooden beam -- you can't take your eyes off the screen.
  75. This terrific movie manages to invest kitchen-sink realism with the soul of a fairy tale.
  76. The result is a lovely piece of writing brought to life by a terrific cast, a vivid sense of place and, not incidentally, some perfectly chosen pop tunes by such as Bree Sharp, Leona Naess, Smog and Tin Star. As for Lauren Ambrose, her big-screen debut is a revelation.
  77. Happily, then, the first movie of the Harry Potter series casts a splendid spell, as screenwriter Steve Kloves has transcribed J.K. Rowling's novel nearly to a T, with precious little tweaked or trimmed.
  78. One of the most genuinely shocking films you'll ever see.
  79. Think "Basic Instinct" with brains, and you've got it.
  80. Money Can't Buy You Happiness. It hasn't been this vividly re-examined in decades, and we're the richer for it.
  81. It's a wise and powerful tale of race and culture forcefully told, with superb performances throughout.
  82. It's an amazing story, but, in addition to its intrinsic interest, the Shackleton expedition has another remarkable draw: Crewman Frank Hurley had brought along not only still cameras, but a movie camera as well, providing us with an extraordinary record of the ship's voyage.
  83. Offers an enormous amount of pure silly fun for the entire non-nuclear family, no matter what gender they may be.
  84. Deeply moving and exceptionally gracious piece of documentary filmmaking.
  85. The film could be subtitled "Six Characters in Search of an Ending:" When they find that ending, it is gently, delightfully uplifting.
  86. Where The Iron Ladies makes its mark, and holds our interest, is in the way it integrates old-fashioned "low" comedy with social observation.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  87. CQ
    It's a feel-good movie for people tired of paying to feel bad. Bring it on.
  88. Beautifully made and performed, this is a film of considerable insight into both the life of the impoverished and the mystery of human personality.
  89. Almost two and a half hours long, and mostly consists of calm conversations. But don't be deterred, or you'll miss out on a study of character, class and changing times that puts Robert Altman's stodgy "Gosford Park" to shame.
    • New Times (L.A.)
  90. Has all the crowd-pleasing elements moviegoers respond to: appealing hero, absorbing story, a solid group of supporting players and a big fat happy ending.
  91. Here it is -- another double cross for which you will, and should, hand over your few grubby bucks.
  92. Except for a few slow patches, the movie is compulsively watchable: You keep waiting to see just how sick things are going to get.
  93. As it stands, it's cute, occasionally poignant and outrageously implausible.
  94. It's vastly enjoyable in a low-down, scandal-mongering way.
  95. Out of prison, Milani is still not allowed to leave Iran. Whether she will ever get the chance to make another film there is doubtful, all the more reason not to miss this one.
  96. A warning is virtually mandated: No one who's even the least bit squeamish should even think about seeing Audition. But, if you have a taste for the disturbing, it's a trip that will stay with you for some time.
  97. The film is a masterpiece of nuance and characterization, marred only by an inexplicable, utterly distracting blunder at the very end.

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